Publishing is by far the easiest step of the whole process. It is free, takes only an hour to set up your account and the hardest part is to pick the category as there are plenty to choose from. This is if you’re going to publish your book on Amazon KDP, which is why I recommend starting here.
Personally, if it wasn’t for Amazon KDP I don’t think I would have been able to publish my books as fast or easily as I did. Most publishers in my country make writers hire specific proofreaders and then reject 9 out of 10 books that authors want to publish. Publishing on KDP is free, which means it removes the risk (economically speaking) for you as a writer as well as for a publishing company that would’ve had to incur in extra costs to make your book a reality.
Within Amazon KDP there are a few steps which you’ll need to take. The first one is to register with your email and a password, then you’ll have to fill out a tax form and choose a payment method. Once you’ve been through all of this then you can start publishing. Let’s go through all of the process you need to go through when publishing.
The first thing to do is to go into Amazon KDP, this is as easy as typing Amazon KDP on Google or going to their website which is kdp.amazon.com . Once you’re in you log in or create your account, fill out the tax info and all that jazz.
Here comes the interesting part! You’re going to go into Bookshelf > Create a New Title > + Kindle Ebook. This should take you into a page that says Kindle eBook Details.
Select the language your book’s in. It’s most likely going to be in English so you can go ahead and select that one.
This one is important, your book title should be interesting and give the reader an idea of what to expect when he or she reads your book. Of course, you can’t make a title too long or it’s going to be hard to remember and to fit into your cover. So what do you do then if you can’t fit everything you want the reader to know into the title? You use the subtitle to give additional details!
One example could be: Title: Cooking Guide for Single Moms. Subtitle: The easiest and fastest recipes for those moms who value their time and their family. What this is going to do is that it’ll make the title look more appealing but it will also help your book rank when single moms search it on the search bar.
Are you planning to write a series of books? Then it would be ideal to have a name for the series as well as an idea of where this book is going to fit within it. Is this the first book of the series or the last one?
If this is your first book you can leave this blank.
This is your time! Add your name or pen name here so that readers can look for your content that way.
Did you co-write this book with someone else like a friend or a coworker? It would be a wonderful idea to add their name! Otherwise, this can be left blank. If you hired a ghostwriter you can also leave this blank.
Ok, I don’t want to scare you but this is one of the most important parts of book publishing. You need a good description. Think of it this way, people are going to look at your super cool cover, read the title and think “this is exactly what I need!” and then go into your book’s page. If the description is like “yeah, this is an alright book” then that’s going to discourage the customer from buying your book. The description should scream “this is the best book you’ll read and this is why you need it!”
Basically this is asking you if you wrote this book or if you copy-pasted it from the internet. Select “I own the copyright and I hold the necessary publishing rights.” if you wrote this book or hired someone else to do it and then bought the rights for it. I’d like to stress the importance of not copying material from someone else as they could sue you for stealing their intellectual property. This is the reason why we can’t just copy-paste a book and then publish as our own. This is also what’s going to protect you from someone else stealing your book and publishing it as their own.
Another super important factor to take into consideration are keywords. These are going to help the reader find your book. Keywords are those strings of words you search in the search bar in order to find what you want to read or buy. Going back to the example, if your book is a cooking book for single moms you should add keywords such as “cooking book”, “cooking for kids”, “fast and healthy recipes” etc. Amazon lets you add up to 7 keywords, I suggest you use all 7 of them.
Categories are also going to help the reader find your book, if your book is fiction, don’t list it under romance. I’d suggest you take some time to go through all the categories your book could fit into and then pick the best two that you think are going to get to your target audience the easiest.
Age and Range
This is important if you’re writing a children’s book or an adult’s book. If you wrote a book for kids in Kindergarten, the best idea would be to set the range for kids around those ages. If your book contains mature content, the best idea would be to set it at 18+ for age range.
I would suggest you don’t use this option yet as you don’t know if you’ll be able to finish your book before the designated time. If you fail to deliver your book on the date you set, you will lose your privileges to set it to pre-order.
We are now done with Kindle eBook Details! How are you doing so far? All good? Alright, select Save and Continue and let’s move on to Kindle eBook Content.
Here you can choose if you enable Digital Rights Management or not. Personally I don’t have it enabled but it is meant to protect your book from unauthorized distribution.
The time has come to upload the manuscript of your book. This can be in a lot of different formats including .doc, .docx, HTML, MOBI, ePub, RTF, Plain Text, and KPF. I personally upload all of mine in MOBI since I’ve found it to be friendly and easy to upload. I couldn’t give you more information on the other formats as I’ve uploaded my books in MOBI since I started publishing. This step might take a while so don’t worry if it takes like 7 minutes, your book might be very heavy or your internet speed might be slow. If this is taking too long, you can refresh the page and try again. Once it is uploaded successfully, it will say “Manuscript “titleofthebook” uploaded successfully!” and it will also let you know if it has any spelling errors that you might want to check.
Kindle eBook Cover
Next up is the cover. Covers are important, don’t try to save a few bucks and then end up with a horrible cover. If you don’t know how to design covers, it’s better to leave it to the freelancers with good reviews. Once you have your cover you can upload it here, it should be in JPG format (or TIFF) because otherwise it won’t let you upload it. Once it has been uploaded, it should say “cover uploaded successfully”.
Kindle eBook Preview
I would suggest you do launch the previewer just to make sure everything looks fine. If the text or cover is not centered or it just doesn’t look good, make sure to edit it before publishing.
Kindle eBook ISBN
This is a number that’s assigned to your book when you publish, you can leave this space blank unless you already have an ISBN.
Not so hard to publish a book huh? We’re now on the final step before publishing. Click Save and Continue and we will look into the Kindle eBook Pricing.
KDP Select Enrollment
Enrolling in this is like being “exclusive” with Amazon. So you will have your book only in Amazon KDP for 3 months. I usually select this option as I don’t have my books anywhere else, however if you want to have your own store or sell them through other publishers you won’t be able to have this option. This is useful as it lets you run promotions from time to time.
Do you want your book to be available worldwide or just in a few selected territories? I selected Worldwide but you can choose any of them if you only hold rights in an individual territory or if you don’t want your book to be available outside the U.S. for example.
Royalty and Pricing
Here you can select how much royalties you want to receive for each copy sold. It can be either 35% or 70% and it depends on the price of your ebook. If it’s between $2.99 and $9.99 then you can earn 70% royalty. Once you choose the price of your book you can automatically match it in other markets (€2.99) with other currencies or choose a different price on other markets (€2.50).
If you have a paperback version of the book, people who bought it can have access to your ebook for a lower price or even for free. I have this option enabled as they have already paid for the book so it makes sense to give the ebook as well so that readers can have it accesible everywhere they go.
You can choose to allow your book being lended to other people by readers (if they’ve already purchased it) for 14 days.
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions you agree to once you publish the book. You can read more by clicking the link they provide.
Once you’ve been through all of these steps, your book is finally ready to be published so just click on “Publish your Kindle eBook” and your book should be available soon.
Pretty simple right? Don’t worry if you still don’t understand some of the categories, it takes time to get used to all of them but the more you publish, the easier it will be.
Now that you know how to publish an eBook we can go through the process of how to publish a paperback. It is pretty much the same so I’m just going to add the parts in which it’s different. The first page (Paperback Details) will be pretty much the same so let’s go ahead and look at the differences with the middle section, “Paperback Content”.
So the first step here is to get assigned an ISBN as all books have one. You can just click on “assign me a free KDP ISBN” and you’ll be assigned one immediately.
Here you can choose the date in which you first published your book or you can just leave it black and it’ll auto-fill with the date in which it’s published.
Here’s one of the parts in which it changes the most compared to the eBook. You will be given the option to choose the interior and paper type, trim size, bleed settings and paperback cover finish so let’s go through each one of the. Interior and Paper Type: Here you can choose to have it in black and white or color with white or cream paper. I personally choose black and white ink with white paper because I mostly publish non-fiction books. If you’re going to publish fiction books, the cream paper is probably the best option as it’s easier on the eyes and since customers are going to be reading the book for a long time this could help them a lot.
Trim size: This is the size of your book, there are many options such as 5”x8”, 6”x9”, etc. Choose the one you think it’s going to go best with your book. Your book will need to be in this size but you can download the template for the book directly through Amazon.
Bleed settings: “bleed” allows printing at or off the end of a page and it’s usually used for books with illustrations. I always choose “no bleed” but if you’re publishing a children’s book with whole pages of illustrations you might want to check how this works.
Paperback cover finish: You can choose if it’s matte or glossy.
You will need to upload your manuscript in PDF, remember this has to be in the size that you chose for trim size so the actual document has to be in that specific size. If you don’t know how to set your document on 5” by 8” you can just download a template from Amazon. My two go-to sizes are 5 x 8 and 6 x 9 so I just download and save the template and then when I’m ready to publish I just adjust it and export to PDF.
Ok, this part is a little tricky if you are designing your cover or using the one you used for the eBook as this cover includes the back and spine of the book. If you only have the ebook cover then you can use the cover creator and finish the back and spine yourself. This process isn’t complicated at all but if you don’t feel comfortable doing it you can just hire a freelancer to help you with it and design a cover with a spine and back for you to upload it directly.
Here’s where you check if your formatting and cover look good. I would strongly suggest you launch the previewer and really take the time to make sure everything is okay.
Now we can move on to Paperback Rights and Pricing. This is pretty similar to the one we went through with the ebook with the exception that it’s going to give you a minimum price you can give to your book. Why? Because it costs money to print it so Amazon calculates a price which works for you both. In here you can get 60% royalties and then if you choose to have expanded distribution (which sells the book through other retailers) you get 40%.
That’s pretty much it and if you completed all of the steps you should’ve pretty much published your books in around 24 hours (depending on when you clicked publish).